• Valley Project

Then & now: Blacks Rd corner

How much has North East Valley changed in the past 100 years?

I was on the hunt through one of our cupboards at the Valley Project recently when I came across a box full of old photographs of scenes of North East Valley.

Before I knew it, two hours had gone by as I looked through the pictures trying to visualise what a particular scene would look like in comparison today.

As a keen photographer I thought it would be a fun project to try to recreate old pictures in their modern context.

The general store on the corner of Blacks Rd and North Rd estimated to be some time in the 1920s

This picture, taken on the corner of Blacks Rd and North Rd, seemed like a good place to start, especially given the old-time feel recreated by today’s Blacks Road Grocer.

The undated photograph (top left) was published in the Valley Voice’s May 2011 History Notes column written by Gary Blackman.

Gary estimated the picture was taken some time in the 1920s. Melhuish, the dominant sign in the windows, was a Christchurch-based company known for its Worcester and tomato sauces, pickles and relishes.

The shop dates from the early 1900s, writes Gary, when John Thomson set up as a grocer. He was followed by his son Albert Victor Thomson until the early 1940s. The shop has gone through many changes of hands since then.

Blacks Road Grocer as it looks today.

Today it is named Blacks Road Grocer and is owned by Christopher Wilson, who has taken it back to its vintage feel. Christopher is still in the process of updating the store’s signage.

Just like an old-fashioned community shop, wares include handmade preserves, relishes and sauces, free-range eggs, cheeses, honey and ‘real milk’ in glass bottles, along with “good honest food, just like our mum or nana used to make”. —Edith Leigh


Recent Posts

See All

© 2015 by The Valley Project 

262 North Road, North East Valley, Dunedin, New Zealand 9010

(03) 473 8614




Link to our certificate of incorporation  (Please click the Register Search and enter our organisation number 468554)

Charities Number: CC45702

New Zealand Business Number: 9429042674184


Donate to the Valley Project through our Give-a-Little page. We are non-profit organisation and registered charity that aims to enhance life in the North East Valley area

Like what we do?

You can donate at our Give-a-Little page

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle